City Secures Affordability and Prevents Displacement for Over 16,000 NYC Households

April 3, 2020

Press Office:

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced today the preservation of 16,083 affordable homes for New Yorkers, including Co-op City, the largest housing cooperative in the world, and Cooper Square, the oldest Community Land Trust in the City. The City used low-cost preservation programs and tax exemptions to ensure stability and security for families living in 95 buildings throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

"We are facing an unprecedented crisis, and after we have defeated this virus and begin to pick up the pieces, we will need affordable housing like never before. Locking in the affordability of these homes across the city will be crucial to ensuring stability for New Yorkers as we recover," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Now more than ever New Yorkers need the safety and security of staying in their homes,” said Vicki Been Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “For decades, Co-Op city has been a ladder to the middle class, and we are very proud to keep its more than 15,000 homes affordable.”

“When the present is uncertain, government must ensure an equitable and safe future. In our city, where so many New Yorkers are reeling from the effects of this unprecedented pandemic – we are doing just that. The need for affordable housing will be even greater in the coming months, and we are preparing for that reality by guaranteeing over 16,000 households will remain in housing that is affordable for the long term,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I am so thankful to the dedicated public servants at HPD for their tireless efforts to provide families across the city with the security of knowing they can afford to stay in their homes for decades to come, especially now, when it matters most.”

Ensuring affordability for decades to come

HPD locked in affordability at Co-Op City, the largest housing cooperative in the world, until 2052. The 15,372 homes spread across 72 buildings will remain affordable for low-income New Yorkers.

The affordability agreement guarantees Co-op City’s continued participation in the Mitchell-Lama program for decades. The major development will receive accessibility upgrades for 45 buildings thanks to a $1 million commitment from City Council.

The City has also safeguarded affordability for over 300 more units in Brooklyn through tax exemptions:

  • Prospect Park South, Brooklyn – HPD has locked in affordability for tenants living in this 384-unit portfolio, recently acquired by the Camber Property Group, for the next 30 years. The eight-building portfolio is located in a rapidly changing section of Brooklyn, and HPD has ensured that very low income households can afford to remain in their homes thanks to ongoing affordability, with 50 units remaining affordable permanently and 26 units set aside for the homeless. The new owner will also ensure housing code conditions are addressed.

A sustainable path forward

In collaboration with the Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Office, HPD secured affordability for 327 homes across 21 buildings for the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, a limited-equity cooperative located on a Community Land Trust in Lower Manhattan that serves very low and low-income New Yorkers, for the next 40 years.

Thanks to $1.5 million in funding granted from the Office of the Attorney General, Cooper Square will be able to expand services for local senior residents. HPD’s Green Housing Preservation Program provides financing for energy efficient upgrades, cutting costs for the cooperative and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by making way for environmentally friendly upgrades. Renovations at this property will include installation of solar PV.  Enterprise Community Partners also provided the funding for wrap-around services that will allow senior residents of the building to age in place.

The City has now produced more than 164,000 units or more than 50 percent of the Mayor’s Housing plan to create 300,000 affordable homes by 2026, representing an investment of more than $6.6 billion.

“We must do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers during these challenging times,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Ensuring that thousands of New Yorkers can remain in their homes without additional financial stress will provide much needed stability and reassurance in the face of this crisis. This is just our latest effort to protect our communities during this pandemic and I thank HPD for their leadership.”

"Affordable housing is always in high demand in New York City, but the COVID-19 crisis has made this need even more urgent," said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly's Housing Committee. "With so many families' financial situations suddenly precarious, it is critically important that we move forward on creating and preserving our affordable housing stock to ensure safety and stability for New Yorkers. I commend the Mayor and HPD for announcing the preservation of these 16,000 units in Brooklyn, Manhattan and which will make a significant difference in the lives of our residents."

“The Mayor’s Housing Plan to invest $6.6 billion in affordable housing by 2026 comes at crucial time for a large portion of our city. Through the NYC HPD funding, Co-op City, the gem of affordable housing in the Bronx, will be able to undertake key capital projects without adding any financial burdens onto its shareholders," said Assembly Member Michael Benedetto.

“I am pleased to see that New York City Housing Preservation and Development secured funding to ensure permanent affordability of 327 homes in the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, part of which sits in the 66th Assembly District. Even during an unprecedented time of crisis such as this, it is important to continue the steady work of building a society we can be proud of and that includes ensuring affordable housing,” said Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick.

"It is imperative now more than ever that city agencies and elected officials work together to provide resources and stability to New Yorker's as we work to get through this pandemic. As housing is essential, I applaud HPD for working to preserve affordable housing for New York City Residents during this critical time," said Senator Kevin Parker.

“Securing affordable housing units, especially during these unprecedented times, is critical in keeping New Yorkers in their homes. As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, maintaining affordable housing units is key to combating homelessness. As part of its efforts, the City Council designated $1 million to provide accessibility upgrades in Co-op City, the biggest housing cooperative in the nation,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“As the City of New York works tirelessly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we must not forget the hardworking New Yorkers who are in need of sustained affordable housing to secure their future,” said City Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “I want to commend the New York City Department of Housing Preservation for guaranteeing that over 16,000 homes throughout New York City will remain affordable for the long term, thereby protecting residents from displacement. In this time of crisis, we must do everything in our power to protect those who rely on affordable housing to provide shelter for their families. I also want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson and my colleagues in City Council for committing $1 million dollars towards accessibility upgrades for 45 buildings in Co-op City. Our underserved residents have the right to live in housing that is safe and affordable, and this investment by the city is an important part of that process.”

“Riverbay Corporation appreciates having HPD partner with us on the final phases of this lobby entrance project. As a result of this joint initiative, Co-op City’s building entrances will be 100% ADA compliant,” said Co-op City’s General Manager, Noel Ellison. “This financing allows us to free up additional funds for the many capital projects we are currently undertaking. A special note of gratitude goes to our Councilman, Andy King, for putting this effort in motion.”

"The funding associated with this project will allow us to make critical capital repairs and take our first step towards sustainable energy consumption, while ensuring that our housing remains affordable to low-income co-op shareholders” said Dave Powell, Executive Director of Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association. “The funding for senior services is especially timely as we expand our capacity to support our elders during and after the COVID 19 crisis. As the first Community Land Trust-connected project to receive this support, we are encouraged to see the City expanding its commitment to CLTs, permanent affordability and resident-led governance models.”

“It is more important than ever to ensure that low-income older adults in New York can access quality affordable housing with wraparound services,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Enterprise was honored to partner with Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association and HPD to fund critical senior services for these homes, including health care, case management, and more, to ensure that Cooper Square residents can safely age in place.”